This is something I never knew and now that I know it I think you should, too.  It’s the history of the middle finger salute.   Read on.

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers.  Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future.  This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as “plucking the yew” (or “pluck yew”).  (Are you laughing yet?)  Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, “See, we can still pluck yew!”

Since ‘pluck yew’ is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F and thus the words are often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute!  It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as “giving the bird.”

And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing.

The Power of I Like You, Part Two, by Circe Denyer

How hard is it to say I like you? Harder than you think. It is because the words must be honest. You cannot say them and not mean those like you can with ‘I love you’. The person you say them to will expect to be told why this is true. They cannot stand alone. They must be backed up with the explanation why. They must mean something about the person they are told to. They have value because of what they mean.

Try it. Stand in front of the mirror. Tell the person you see there, “I like you”. Immediately you should hear something inside you saying, what do you like? OR some other truth.

Now, think about your own interaction with the people closest to you. Have you ever said these words to them? Have you ever heard them said to you?

Now, imagine someone significant saying those words in a meaningful tone to you. Do you feel the power, the significance of them?

For me, I wish these words were spoken more often, with sincerity and truth between friends and lovers. I wish the people who know them would share. I wish those who need them would receive.

Are you ever at a loss for words?

Have you ever agonized about what to say for a special message to someone?  Well, I have the answer.  It’s in a book I found a while ago and it has choice words, phrases, sentences & paragraphs for every situation.  It gives examples for apologies, appreciation, complaints, disagreement, get well letters, refusals, (we could all use that once in a while,) and many, many others.  The author of this extraordinary book is Rosalie Maggio and was published in 1990 but the advice is timely and appropriate.


If you are at a loss for words, email me at mdenyer@dslextreme.com and I will send you an example, or more, that you can use.   Ms. Maggio has an answer for everything, including “How to say it, What not to say”, tips on writing, phrases, words, even special situations.


I love this book.  I wish I had had it a long time ago.